[Poem] icy HUGH

icy Hugh

words and pictures by S. Zainab Williams

i see dead things all around,
from the blackened red stain on the frozen ground
to the campfire badge all charred and browned.

i see tires on the jagged stone row,
them frayed, ragged feathers like a broken crow,
the gutted parcels and the little pink bow.

i–i see rags ‘mongst the salt and rust,
about the glistening innards of a decayed sea bust
what cracked its belly open, paid the fathomless trust.

i see no one in the cooling beds,
here the presents stay wrapped; there white snow, motley red,
ho! deep troughs, not of sleds.

my dead eye sniffs them out
what my shorn tongue never will shout.

But
Once I saw
A moon maiden’s grove
Where the silvered oaks shimmered and no man would rove,
Where the stars swayed, bright flowers in the quake
Of fine-boned feet skimming, scattering the lake.
Toward me, toward me, ah the lovestruck fool
Wrapped warm and unaware in summered tulle.
She reached out her hands to beckon me in

then i saw the hook took my dazzled eye
oh i saw my tongue from its home she did pry.

i see dead things all around,
from the blue-black temple tween the mother crowned
to my own black hole where i make no sound.

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The Bedeviler’s Eggs [Cookery Rhymes]

Bedevilers-EggsThe Bedeviler’s Eggs

By S. Zainab Williams

Above the burble of a babbling bank,
Beside a river where the sun never sank,
But danced and glittered, blithe and blind
To a nattering drama of the silliest kind,
Cluck-spat argument of land versus sea.

“My egg,” crowed Hen, “is far supreme,
All speckled in red instead of cream.”
“Who cares?” pouted Fish with kissy lips.
“The cast of the egg between your hips
Is but echo of feather and fluff.”

“My eggs,” spat Fish, “are plentiful,
Of numbers great and immeas’rable.”
“Your eggs are itsy breaky things
And your paltry progeny have no wings,”
The ruffled Hen buckawed.

When out from the shade of a gnarled oak
Stepped a twisted man in a heavy cloak.
“What is this?” he queried in broken falsetto.
“Do I hear a cry for the honest libretto
Of one unbiased and true?”

“Good sir,” both entreated with harried breath,
“Would you tell us in truth, on pain of death,
Whose eggs are the best of all?
We need to know the truth at last and it must rest on your call.”
The man fell in shadow. And smiled.

“Produce your eggs. Produce them now,”
The man commanded with uplifted brow,
“I will take them aside to consider their gifts
But before I can you must persist
In laying your scrumpt–lovely jewels.”

So Hen and Fish handed over their sires
And the man sulked off with the root of their ires
To examine these specimens with boiling pot,
With herbs and mustard and thickening plot,
When Fish snuck away from Hen.

“Ho there!” whispered Fish from the muddy shore,
“Are you ever deciding, are you ever more?
Would you whisper though I have no ear?”
O’er coal and flame scraped a frying pan, said the man, “Come near.
Come near.”

Hen waited.
And waited.
Till the sun bent its leg,
And no more did she see that red-speckled egg.
Or Fish.

Bedeviler’s Eggs

Deviled Egg Filling: Egg Yolk (one dozen eggs), Coleman’s Mustard, Mayo, Fresh Dill, Horseradish, Salt, Freshly Ground Pepper, White Vinegar, Smoked Paprika

Garnish: Fried Salmon Skin